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Entries from August 2017

My Favorite Guy Is 45!

Hey, hey, I'm proud to say, my hubby Rob is 45 today!

Rob's Birthday Socks

Over the course of the month of August, I managed to get a present here, a gift there, for Rob. In 16 years of celebrating his birthdays, I have never ever been able to hold on to his gifts all the way until the end of the month. Not once. I always get too excited to give him presents, and he gives in and accepts my over-eager ways. Hee!

So what my honeybuns really wanted this year were wool socks. He put them on his Amazon Wishlist, writing "lots!" for the quantity. I don't know if four pairs counts as "lots!" but that's what I bought him first. Paco wasn't as thrilled about Daddy's socks.

Rob's Bday Socks 2

Another time, I got a deal on a six-pack of white crew socks, so yay, what a joyous present that was! 

Rob's Birthday Cookware
After that, Macy's had an online deal on some awesome cookware, and so I jumped on that lickety-split. Next day later, after I went to pick it up, Rob received a big griddle pan, and an enormous wok with two handles and a lid. After several uses on these with a metal spatula, it was apparent he also needed the following:

Rob's Birthday cookin' implements

I got, of course, another deal for this silicone pancake flipper and spatula-spoony-scrapy thing. No more potential scratches in the new nonstick cookware!

Rob's Birthday Calculator

As for the Texas Instruments scientific calculator, that was a "must have" more than a "nice to have." Rob's taking some math classes now in order to prepare for his upcoming matriculation at Boise State University, and he needed some calculation tools. His Samsung Galaxy has that ability, somewhat, but those are not allowed during tests. Of course. I'd been saving up my Swagbucks points for a big Amazon gift card, so as soon as I could, I spent them on this helpful tool. Yay for edumacation!


Today, Sophia made chocolate cupcakes for her dad's birthday, with my assistance. Since we still don't have most of our household goods, we only have a 6-hole silicone muffin pan. That means the batter that makes 24 cupcakes is being done in batches, right now as I type this post. No matter; delicious is delicious!


Sophia set up the six cupcakes from the first batch in a flower arrangement, and then I decorated them. Rob hates frosting on his favorite birthday chocolate cake, so we never put it on for him. Okay, I lied; many times I have made his cake in Bundt pan, and I have not been able to resist decorating it with some kind of frosting. Which he hates. For his birthday. Crap! Now I feel rotten about all those times! Anyway, this year, I polled the room and asked who wanted frosting. All three girls were a yes, while Jack eschewed the idea of any adornment to his chocolate cake. Also, we only had a "4" candle from Jack's recent 14th birthday celebration, but no "5" candle; instead, I used the "4" and five regular birthday candles to make up the "45" for my guy's big moment. Hey, it works.


Happy birthday, my love! I hope you have many more years left, during which I will probably continue to annoy the shit out of you. Love you so!


Unleashed The Movie: Review And #Giveaway


Hey, everyone! Have you seen the movie Unleashed yet? It's a comedy for the furry friend in all of us!

Disclosure: I was chosen to receive a copy of the movie Unleashed in order to review it and provide a giveaway for my readers. All opinions expressed in this post are, as 100% my own. Each household is only eligible to win Unleashed via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Open to residents of the United States only.


In Unleashed, Emma, a brilliant but awkward app designer, moves to San Francisco after a massive betrayal by her boyfriend with only her beloved pets, an adorable cat and an energetic mutt, in tow. One night, drawn by the light of a Supermoon, Emma’s pets escape into the night and are transformed into full-grown men, forcing Emma to reconsider her outlook on dating and hilariously work out her trust issues.




I watched this movie with my soon-to-be 16-year-old daughter, Chloë, and we both agreed that it was a little much on the adult humor, so please use parental caution if you're going to view this with a minor.


Would you like to win a copy of Unleashed? Be sure and tweet me or shout out on Instagram whether you are #TeamDog or #TeamCat, and then come back and enter as many ways as you'd like in the form below. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. I like both, but in the end I'm always #TeamDog! ;)


Draw3D: New Art By Chloë & Sophia

As I've mentioned previously, my girls are doing Art coursework through the Emmy-winning Artist Mark Kistler's website, I've showcased some of Sophia's art here, but it's been a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd do some catching up.

I'll start with the elder girl, Chloë:

Chloe's Manta Ray

Now, I'm not going to lie: her "Manta Ray" is one of my least favorite of Chloë's drawings, and a lot of that has to do with the shadow underneath. Shading and shadowing are one of the hardest parts for her, so it will be interesting to see how she progresses in that area during the course this year.

Chloe's Dinos in Cheese

I really, really like how her "Dinos in Cheese" turned out! The cheeks and mouths, especially, look really cute to me!

Chloe's Clam

The "Clam" is one of several that Chloë colored, and at this point I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I love color, but for me, I was thinking it detracted from the black-and-white drawing somehow. I just couldn't put my finger on it yet.

Chloe's Dolphin

On the other hand, I really like how the blue color added to her "Dolphin," so maybe it was just a one-time complaint I had with "Clam"?

Chloe's Coral Reef

"Coral Reef" turned out really nice, but again, I was having trouble with the color. I think what I didn't like the most was that it just wasn't solid enough color for me, which maybe was a problem with the quality of the (Crayola) pencils.

Chloe's Jellyfish

The "Jellyfish" were a little dark and purposeful, showcasing Chloë's constant need to press hard when she writes or, in the case of her Art class, draw. She and Jack are just alike this way.

Chloe's Scuba Rex

Chloë's "Scuba Rex" was really good, I thought, with the detailed feet and wrinkles in the bent parts of his tail. I think she's showing some improvement in her her shadowing here, too.

Chloe's Seahorse

Chloë decided to ink the "Seahorse," which I thought turned out pretty well for a first effort and especially over pencil marks. The drawing itself was rather nice, too!

Chloe's Hermit Crab

Her "Hermit Crab" was nice, but then Chloë chose to color this one, too, and it's in this case that I objected and asked her not to color any more of the drawings. I just think it's a combination of the paper, the pencils, something... that just did not contribute value to her drawings.

Chloe's Pencil Power

Again, we have "Pencil Power," the inclusion of which in the course "Undersea Adventure" I still do not understand! but it turned out pretty well, I think, and showed continuous improvement from the beginning.

Chloe's Treasure Chest

"Treasure Chest" was good, but I didn't understand, once again, the shading and especially the shadowing of the box in the sand. Something about it is just difficult for Chloë, I think.

Chloe's Whale

The "Whale" was lovely - but what a huge blowhole! Sophia's turned out that way, too, so I guess that's the way Mr. Kistler intended it.

Chloe's Marshmallow Mo

After Chloë finished "Undersea Adventure," I tried to have both girls doing the videos instead of the step-by-step drawings on Draw3D, but it went a little too fast for Chloë, so I switched her back to more Step-by-Step. Thus, meet "Marshmallow Mo" from the series Marshmallow Metropolis.

Sophia's Female Face

Now, let's switch gears and look at some of Sophia's work. Here is "Female Face" from the Heads and Faces video series. I think she turned out extremely well; do you think so?

Sophia's Multi-Directional Head

The lesson "Multi-Directional Head" was next, and it showed several different angles for a face to be looking. I think Sophie did very well with this lesson.

Sophia's 2 Dinos

Next, we switched to the video series, and I chose Intermediate Dinosaurs for Sophie's next course. This one was "2 Dinos," where she started to learn smudging to show a different kind of shading detail to her work.

Sophia's Dino Momma

I thought the actual drawing and smudging on "Bronto Momma" was great, but I don't know how I feel about the seaweed hanging out of her mouth. I felt like that could have been either improved on or omitted.

Sophia's Dino Butt

The next drawing for the lesson "Dino Butt!" turned out adorably well, didn't it? What a cutie.

Sophia's Dino Herd

I love the surprised, eye-popping look of the critters in "Dino Herd"! Really great work, Sophia.

Sophia's Pterra's Nest

"Pterra's Nest" is a different kind of dino, and I like it, though I thought that, to wrap up Intermediate Dinosaurs, Sophia could have been more definitive and less sketch-y in her lines. And I also wonder what those guys are looking at - food??

Sophia's 2-Door Home

Finally, this one was a bit hard to photograph and see, but it shows Sophia's beginning drawing for the Home Improvements course, "2-Door Home." Frankly, I don't like the gerbils. I don't think it's her fault, necessarily, but I do think they could have been better. The habitat itself is cute!

So that's where we are with Art right now. I'm trying to find a good Aeronautics counterpart class for Jack, who has no interest in Art, but so far I don't see one that is well-suited to his abilities. We tried doing Circuitry for a bit at the beginning of the school year, but it just didn't take after two lessons. I know his limitations are real, so I will keep looking!

In the meantime, we're doing more school right now, and have some fun stuff coming up later this week - so stay tuned!


Sundays In My City: Movies On The Field #Vineyard #Boise

Sundays In My City
Welcome back! This week, I am participating again in this fun blog hop invented by Claudya (formerly known as the Unknown Mami); be sure and click on over here to visit more participating blogs this week!
Last weekend, we ventured to the next town over from here, Boise, to Garden City, Idaho. Our church, Vineyard Boise, was putting on the third and final huge party of the summer to welcome all the families and especially the youths of Garden City. There was supposed to be ice cream (I say this because there was last time, and I wanted some, darn it), but they were all out. That's okay; they had plenty more with which to enthrall us. Here's Rob and me at the outset, after turning the kids - including Neighbor Kid (NK), who is my son Jack's best bud - loose on the field.
There were tons of LEGO bricks to play with, which was appropriate since the movie of the night was LEGO Batman, along with plenty of other arts & crafts-type stuff.
Lots of games were being played out in the big wide open; I suspect my son and NK had disappeared somewhere out there. I didn't see them again until much later, after the movie had started.
Under that tent, they were giving out bags of popcorn, huge pink sticks of cotton candy, and delicious cups of shaved ice treats. They were also doling out cups of water to combat the heat, and in the back, they were painting faces. I'm telling you, this event was huge!
Oh, and lots of folks brought their dogs. I wish we could trust our dogs to behave like that, but our neurotic Chihuahua, Paco, and our chunky weiner, Tapioca, are just unreliable like that. Oh, well.
Lots of volunteers were on hand to make the event run as smoothly as possible. I had wanted to sign up and help with cotton candy or something like that, but with the Lyme Disease rampage going on in my body, I'm completely unreliable right now. Sucks. I'm thankful for all the volunteers there, though, who did make things go well!
My daughters, Chloë (smiling) and Sophia (hiding, inexplicably), waiting in line for face-painting. The lines were immense; if memory serves, they quit before reaching the front of the line!
Later, Sophia was sitting on her blanket (front right corner chewing done courtesy of the aforementioned chunky weiner-meets-Jaws pup of ours, Tapi), wrapping her knee in bandages.  MAN! Ever since she broke her arm last summer, Sophie has met with many trials and tribulations in that regard. She's broken her toe, sprained her ankle, and on this night, popped something in her kneecap. I'm about to cover her in bubble wrap!
By 9 PM, Chloë was beyond ready for the LEGO Batman movie to begin! She did not have long to wait. What a great turnout we had that night! You can't see it from this picture, but blankets were set up everywhere around the field.
On one last trip to the snack food tent before the movie started, Rob went to collect the girls (the boys came back on their own sometime later) and bring back more eats. I ate so much junk that night: candy, strawberry-flavored shaved ice, two or three bags of popcorn... ay ay ay! That certainly wasn't in the dietary plan, but I guess I needed a night off!
So that's the sort of thing happening around Garden City, Idaho. Let's go check out what's happening elsewhere in the world!

Sunday Stealing: Art History Meme

Welcome back! Link up here if you want to play along with Sunday Stealing this week.

Let's begin:


  1. Do you look forward to the spring?
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  3. Oh yes, very definitely! In Miami, it didn't make much difference, but here in Idaho I suspect I will look forward to Spring with a vengeance! I don't "do" cold weather very well.

  4. 2. Which area of the sciences do you enjoy the most?
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  6. In college, I double-majored in Biology and Marine Sciences, with a minor in Chemistry, so... I'm going to have to say: Physics! Just kidding, Marine Biology is and will always be my first love.
  7. 3. If you could own a classical statue in the form of any figure from myth, religion, or even modern fiction, who would you choose?
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  9. I think I would choose Harry Potter, because my daughter Chloë is extremely obsessed with all things HP, and I would like to give this as a gift to her.

  10. 4. Do you have a good relationship with your mother?
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I wish I did...

  1. 5. What is your favorite mythological story?
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I think I will have to go with The Odyssey; this epic was definitely fun to read and learn about in my Mythology class back in high school!

  1. 6. If you put on a big feast, what would you serve?
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I think it would be fun to put on a feast with lots of vegan dishes from around the world, like this chickpea pizza, some hummus and pita, pea falafel (which I love and mentioned in yesterday's Saturday 9 post) and more! So yummy!

  1. 7. How do you have fun? (What is your favorite 'Earthly Delight'?)

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  1. I think my favorite thing to do is just hang out with Hubs and our wee gang of teenagers. I admit, when they were younger, I had qualms about having three teens. Now that our youngest is 12.5, I will say it's not so bad (so far). Sure, we definitely have our "blow-up" moments, but for the most part, I love communicating with them on a more adult level as well as seeing them blossom into their unique identities. This is fun! I can't wait to see what the future holds for them.

  2. 8. Do you often look for hidden messages and meanings?
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Guilty. Hubs is always telling me, "Don't read anything into it! It is what it is."

  1. 9. Have you ever received an award or special position?
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  3. Sure. Back when I was relevant, I won lots of awards and honors. One of my favorites was being one of the few paid interns at Mote Marine Lab i Sarasota, FL.

  4. 10. If a revolution was about to happen in your country, would you be part of it?

Image result for Modern american revolution

  1. Well, I hope it doesn't come to this in my lifetime, but I could see it happening. I think, with all the options in current factions developing in this country, I would like to say that I'd be a part of it, but ethically speaking, I don't think I could be. I don't know what I would do, since my husband would probably answer a resounding "YES!" and I wouldn't want to leave him or be separated from any of my bebes. It's a tough question.
  2. 11. Have you ever planned an act of revenge?
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  4. Nah, I don't think so. I don't really think of myself as a very vengeful person.

  5. 12. What is the most dramatic thing you have ever done?
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  7. This announcement, which Google Images provided to me, pretty much sums it up! Rob and I eloped two months after we met online, and we learned Chloë was on the way two or three weeks after that! Pretty dramatic; tongues were wagging for sure!

  8. 13. Do you care about your weight?
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  10. Yes, and I lost a ton of weight (over 200 lbs) after my gastric bypass surgery. I'm extremely upset now, because in the last year, thanks to my combination of new meds and illness I am sure, I have gained about a quarter of that back. I am not happy about that!

  11. 14. Is your life moving too slowly or too fast?
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Yes. In one sense, it is FLYING by, because my kids are older now and I am growing more anxious about how they will fare in adulthood. However, it sometimes feels like time is dragging by, but that is usually when I am in severe pain and just want that to pass...

  1. 15. Do you prefer to stay in the shade?
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I don't necessarily prefer it, but my doctor has required it of me. I have some autoimmune issues going on, so I'm very reactive to the sun and its voodoo powers. Gotta stay in the shade, wear sunscreen every day, and use a sun hat when I'll be out in the sun for any length of time. What do you think of this one, eh?

  1. 16. If you could have any mural on your ceiling, what would it look like?
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Maybe something like this, but I would absolutely love anything Romero Britto decided to put up our ceiling. How awesome would that be?!

  1. 17. Do you enjoy the countryside?
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  3. I do; I love it. I'm very thankful that we were so fortunate to be able to see many parts of the countryside on our long drive West from Miami to Boise!

  4. 18. Are you a romantic?
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  6. Yes; and this photo pretty much sums me up to a "T." Hilarious!

  7. 19. What is your favorite historic subject?
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  9. I think I enjoyed learning about the Renaissance Period the most, and I still do enjoy it.

  10. 20. Do you prefer landscape paintings?
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  12. I can get into them sometimes, more sea-related scapes than dry land, but for the most part I prefer portraiture. Monet, though is my favorite painter, so I do enjoy some landscapes.

  13. 21. Are you interested in social issues?

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Holy cow, that is all sorts of wrong!! ^^^ But yes, I am very much into social issues. For my own sake and especially for my childrens' sakes, I care, but I even care if it's got nothing directly to do with us. There is so much to worry about these days; I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.


Well, on that cheerful note...!! Thank you for stopping by, and have a lovely weekend!


Saturday 9: I Wish It Would Rain

Hiya, there! Link up here if you want to play along with the S9-ers today!

Let's begin.


Saturday 9: I Wish It Would Rain (1968)
... because Janelle recommended the Temptations

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This week's song focuses on rain. Ombrophobia -- the fear of rain -- is fairly common in children. How do you feel about rainy days? 
They don't bother me. We actually get more rain here in Boise, Idaho, than we did back in Homestead, Florida. It doesn't seem that way, because the number of rainy days here is more spread out than the dumping deluge we got in Miami, but it's true. Anyway, I rather like them, especially a good thunderstorm.

2) Lead singer David Ruffin always wore corrective lenses. Are you wearing glasses or contact lenses as you answer these questions?
I'm wearing contact lenses. I often keep them in overnight as I sleep, because either I forget to take them out, or I'm feeling too lazy, or I just hate wearing glasses. However, I'm having a tonsillectomy in a couple weeks and will definitely have to wear my glasses then!

3) Those thick-rimmed glasses were David's trademark. When he custom-ordered a luxury car, he had the image of those glasses painted on the door. Tell us something that makes your vehicle distinctive.
That's weird. We still have a Florida plate (no front one is required there) on our car, at least 'til the end of the month, which stands out here in Idaho. And we have a lot of stickers on the back of our car, and my college and high school graduation tassels hang from the rearview mirror, so it's pretty easy to spot in a crowded parking lot.

4) David also had a penchant for mink. Rumor has it that he wore a mink-lined hat and even had that car upholstered in mink. If you could really splurge on anything right now, what would it be? Car? Travel? Clothes? Jewelry? (NO responsible answers allowed.)
I would spend it on travel all over our new home state. We want to camp, and hike, and explore, and we haven't had the money to do that yet. We will get there... eventually!

5) He sings that he badly wants to go outside. What are your plans for today? Will you be outdoors very much? 
I ran a few errands with my daughters today. They had to help me walk; I leaned on them a considerable amount. So much so that I've decided it's time to get a fold-up wheelchair to keep in the trunk of the car. I had a good cry about it.

6) The Temptations originally called themselves The Elgins because in 1960, Elgin watches were the high-end timepiece of choice. Today, in the age of cellphones and FitBits, wristwatches aren't that popular anymore. Do you often wear a watch?
Never. I have some, but I never wear a watch. That's what my phone is for! 
7) This sad song was inspired by a real-life event. Motown songwriter Rodger Penzabene discovered his wife was cheating on him. Much to his own surprise, he didn't want to divorce or even separate from her; he just wanted her to love him and only him again. Tell us about a time when you didn't react as you thought you would. (Your story doesn't have to be as dramatic as Rodger's.)
Having Bipolar I Disorder, I rarely react as I expect I would. I'm on good meds that more or less keep me "stable," but stability is a myth with me. Hm. It's hard to think of any one "fun" example.  I recently stayed in a super-fancy, 5-star hotel with one of my best friends since 6th grade. My daughter and I were with her in Salt Lake City, Utah. She said one thing that pissed me off, and we packed up and left on the spot. I wish we hadn't; I wish that hadn't happened. I feel very remorseful about it.

8) In 1968, when this song was popular, a Pittsburgh McDonald's sold the first Big Mac (two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickle and onion on a sesame seed bun). Describe your perfect hamburger.
I'm pretty good with a vegan bean burger, thanks. A bun, yes, but no condiments necessary. I also like to make pea falafel; they're so good. Might make me some for a late dinner tonight, as a matter of fact!

9) Random question: When you catch a cold, do you soldier through it? Or are you a big baby?
I don't really worry too much about a common cold. I never have given it much thought, with everything else going on. Only when it turns out to be something bigger do I start to bitch and moan about it.
Thanks for stopping by!

August Ramblings

Well, howdy there! Time to play Catch-Up again, apparently! I've had time to edit photos and such, thus making it more likely I'll actually blog about them..!

Image result for national night out

First, did your community or neighborhood participate in 2017's National Night Out? Ours did! I was so excited when our Neighborhood Watch captain, Gladys, told us it would be happening in the summertime, way back in March or April when first we met her. We've never been to one before, but I always wanted to live in the kind of place that had block parties and closeness. This event totally fit the bill, so I got to cross that one off the Bucket List!


The police came out (and yes, I know he's quite handsome, hahaha), the paramedics drove an ambulance out here, and we also had a fire truck! All this was a bit too late for my older kids to enjoy exploring all the innards of the vehicles anymore, but the little ones in the neighborhood sure had a good time with it. And Rob chatted up the two motorcycle officers who came a little later, about... well, hell if I know.


Almost the entire neighborhood came out, from our tip of the cul-de-sac to the street around the corner. We had dozens of folks. Our hosts cooked the main dish (no idea what it was, because it was meaty, meaty meatstuff), and everyone brought a side of some sort. We contributed pasta salad, but oh! Someone made Ambrosia Salad, a blast from the past for me, and I ate three helpings of it. No lie. I love that stuff. The best part for me, though, was getting to know more people. I had a lot of long, wonderful conversations with several neighbors I hadn't met before, and the feeling of connectedness was just grand. Ahhh.

Savvy Minerals Collage

The next fun thing arrived in the mail: my latest Young Living order included some of our new Savvy Minerals line of cosmetic products. I bought a Foundation Powder, a Bronzer, and a really pale pink (almost neutral, basically) eyeshadow. To be honest, none were the shades I would have picked if everything I wanted had been in stock, but I kid you not, these items are flying off the shelves. They can't keep them in stock long enough for everyone to get some! However, I've found that with blending and a little contouring, and combining these three items with my beloved JAFRA cosmetics, the ones I bought work just fine and dandily for me. Plus, look at the beautiful way they packaged everything, complete with a note of thanks. So fancy-schmancy! I gotta admit, this made me a little giddy. Brought out my girly side, that's for sure.

Mel Selfie

I got my haircut right about that same day, so the next day of course, I had to try the new Young Living Savvy Minerals items and see how I could make it work. I loved it! The foundation goes on very sheer, and though it was darker than my natural skin tone (which could be called "Whiter White Than You Can Imagine Possible"), I was able to blend that with the bronzer to create, I feel, a natural and healthy glowing look. And the fairly neutral pink eyeshadow was perfect for a casual daytime look. I really only had to add JAFRA Maximizing Mascara and a nude lip gloss to complete the look I wanted. What do you think? (Not really trying to sell you anything, but if you need something, here's my site.)


A rare look at Chloë holding her Maine Coon kitty, Pepper... oh wait, no. That's a constant sight around here. He's such a pudge. <3

Food truck night

On August 8th, we went out to Meridian's Food Truck night at Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park. We'd been to that park before, but it's so huge, we hadn't even seen the parking area where the food truck event was being held. Meridian is just one town over from Boise, so not far at all; the park was right down the road from where the kids' pediatrician office is, actually. Apropos of nothing, I guess. Anyway, we met my friend Becca - from the blog Becca's Backyard - at the park to get some eats. We arrived there before Becca, so I had plenty of time to grab a snap of Chloë in front of some of the food trucks. There ended up being about a dozen or so.  A good showing, albeit not as grand as I'd expected. Plenty of choices just the same.

Food truck night2

I was in tons of pain that night, so I forgot to take any pictures of the food. I know; what the hell is wrong with me?!! :O Fortunately, I stole Becca's pictures off of Facebook to do a little peep show for ya; you can thank me later. (Thank you, Becca!)This is a pizza in a cone, which was... interesting. Hers was pepperoni; mine was plain cheese. Both were extremely delicious, but kind of a cumbersome, huge mess to actually try to eat without looking like a complete buffoon. Was it worth it? Hmm... YES! It's pizza, duh, and this one was actually one of the better ones I've had lately.

Food truck night3

For the rest of the bunch, there were soft tacos (Jack, who ate them with tortilla and ground beef, and that's IT as usual), fish tacos for Robert, and Mac Attack's spicy macaroni & cheese for the girls. I don't like it (the spicy mac), but the ladybabies could chow down on that every night and twice on Sundays. As for dessert, everyone except me had a churro of some sort. Sophia had ice cream with hers. This one is Becca's Nutella-filled one. How yummy does that look? I refrained from stealing a piece from her, but man, it looked good.

Tree Stump

So moving on... recently, we (Rob) realized that the giant maple tree in the middle of our tree had some dead limbs. He told our landlord, J., who then sent half a dozen or so "tree guys" out to look at it, make recommendations, and give quotes. In the final analysis, the tree had to come down, because it was a danger to anyone who might be out there when it wanted to fall on its own: it was a complete goner. The tree had a huge personality and was a defining spot in our yard, so now that they've taken it out and ground down the stump to utter nothingness, I'm a little sad. Obviously, I'm also relieved that no one was hurt or, y'know, crushed to death. And the yard looks soo much more expansive and open now. But, trees. I love them. Right??

Natural Grocers Party

This past Thursday, the local Natural Grocers store (think: all organic, everyone hippy-dippy granola-crunchyface... so I liked it a lot!) was having a big ol' fête for their 62nd anniversary. Truthfully, we had never been there, but they were having a supposed ice cream social, root beer floats, giveaways, and all kinds of other fun stuff. Jack opted out of going; he's not a people-person, so we let him stay home. (Chill; he's 14.)

When we got there, we were immediately greeted by an older gent offering organic strawberry samples. Those were delicious! We made our way around to the back of the store, where the Demonstration Room was located. See these cups the girls are holding? That little bitty bit in the bottom of the cups was all they received. I mean, beggars can't be choosers and you don't look a gift horse in the mouth and all kinds of other fun idioms, but come ON! That was lame.

However, I'd come prepared. I had the current ad at home, and I'd dug around all over the internet for coupons. I only had eight bucks on me at the time, and with that, I managed to get a Crofter's Organic Raspberry Spread (which is delish, btw); a big bag of SkinnyPop popcorn; a full-size Endangered Species chocolate-lemon-poppy seed bar; a can of Muir Glen organic sauce; an 8-oz block of Organic Valley mozzarella cheese; a 6-pack of Applegate Farms turkey hot dogs; and I still walked out of there with two bucks in my pocket. Woot! To top it off, we stopped off at Whole Paycheck Foods on the way home to get a $5 jug of Ripple Kids pea-based dairy-free milk, for which I only paid tax thanks to another coupon from them. Awesome!


So, I wrote this post a week ago and never finished it. I'm going to leave this as it is and then do another later. Until then!


Sundays In My City: Music On The Water #Boise #Idaho

Sundays In My City

 Hey everyone! I'm joining in with Claudya over here on her blog for this week's edition of (her) Sundays in my City. Saturday night (so yesterday), I took the kids to Boise's Esther Simplot Park for the first time, to enjoy the Summer Concert scene. There is a lagoon or something right there at the park for swimming, so I knew they would enjoy that, while I wanted to go out and hear some new music and enjoy the local culture some more. Here are a few snaps from our evening:


I'm trying out some new editing options and frames on BeFunky for this post. Not sure I like it, but whatevs, it's done. I love this sign with which we were greeted to last night's event!


We were late to the party, which started at 2 PM, and we got there at 7:20 PM! When we arrived, it was just prior to the last music act's arrival, and some women were talking. After dropping the chillens off at the lake, I took a seat and listened to them talk about domestic violence and sexual assault, and how to help people affected by these. Personally, this is a subject near and dear to my heart, so I paid close attention to the speakers from Women & Children's Alliance.


Lots of people came out for the event, which was nice. I suspect it had been busier earlier in the day, though.


Many vendors were on hand for the event, too. We made the rounds after the kids came up from swimming to hang with their Mum.


Behind the stage while reggae sometime-cover band Voice of Reason was playing. I liked their sound a lot, and tons of people were up front dancing, but I was in the back. Listening to people grumble. I couldn't really pick up anything specific, but I knew they weren't down with the sound, and maybe it was because the event was coming to a close, but they were leaving in droves. Whatever. We stayed.


Boise is a pretty 'green' city, and I love that about it. Lots of people walk or ride bikes around town, instead of driving, and recycling is big here. Yay.


Bunches of the now-ubiquitous food trucks were there, so of course we had to partake of some of their goods. Boise Fries was actually out of potatoes when Jack and I stopped by, and we were told to come back in 10 - no five - no three - minutes when they would have more. (Make up my mind!) When we came back, they handed us some fries and said, "no charge." What? How nice! Definitely appreciated that. We picked up some ketchup and aioli sauces for dipping, sprinkled on some sea salt, and chowed on the awesome fries.

(Free does make things taste better, doesn't it?!)


After the fries, we walked over to The Gyro Shack and picked up some baklava for the four of us to share, and some hummus and pita for the girls and me. Jack is decidedly not into hummus. I wanted to stop by when the music was over and pick up a lamb gyro for Hubs - his favorite - but I was about 30 seconds too late. Gah.




After food, we walked around and visited the other vendors. At the main booth, they were giving away the event t-shirts, so not only did the four of us each score a free high-quality shirt, but I got one for Hubs, too! Win!

Also, the girls were able to get their faces painted for free, with only a suggested donation to the domestic violence shelter. We happily forked over a few bucks, and the artist did a beautiful job on both of them!


Also, when the girls momentarily left to find Porta-Potties, Jack and I snuck back to the quartz (etc.) jewelry maker to snag these pretty opalescent dangly earrings that Chloe had expressed serious and sincere interest in at an earlier visit. She'll be 16 (!!!) on September 7th, so I gave her these as an early birthday present after returning home from the park. She was delighted!


At 9 PM or so, it was finally time to take our leave. The sun was setting, and everyone was breaking down displays and heading off. I snapped one last picture of the perfect, beautiful sunset over the lake, and off we went.

So that's Boise, Idaho, on an August Saturday evening for you. Now, as Claudya says,

"Share your city/town/suburb/you name it! Think of this as a photography carnival that lets you share your part of the world and lets you travel virtually. If you link up, please link back or post the Sundays In My City button either in your post or sidebar to let people know that other bloggers are sharing their communities too. Happy trails!

"Let’s travel the world together!"

Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday Stealing: Something Different Meme

Welcome back! Link up here if you're playing along with Sunday Stealing today. Here we go:


Writes Bev: "Here's something different for this week.  
"There is a woman named "Wendy Weetabix" who wrote a blog called That's My Bix, but the last entry was from 2015.  But she has been posting random questions for the past several months on Facebook.  I went through and picked a few of them for us to answer this week."
1. What is a normal thing that took you an embarrassingly long time to learn?
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Welp, I suspect more than one person will say telling Right from Left - and me, too - but I just learned the other day that Greenland is a territory of Denmark. I either never knew that or just forgot and relearned it, but I felt stupid after learning it this time! ;)

2. In what ways are you old-fashioned?
I'm not very old-fashioned in a very lot of ways, being quite a leftward Liberal. But by the same token, I've become kind of a homebody. My husband and kids are my favorite people in the world, and I get to hang out with them every single day! (We homeschool.) I bake and cook, I knit and crochet... my kids jokingly call me "Grandma" when I'm fiddling with sticks and string! And Martha Stewart is my home-making idol - no lie!

3. What is the best sandwich you've ever eaten? Where did you get it? What made it so delicious?
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(Note: This picture was not it.) When I worked as a legal secretary in St. Pete, Florida, there was a bagel/deli in the same plaza, down at the other end. I didn't go there too terribly often, but on occasion, I would venture over. They had so many choices! But I will never forget the time that I ordered a Fruit & Nut bagel with their homemade Strawberry Cream Cheese. So maybe not technically a sammich, but it was crazy-good!

4. What are you currently not bragging about that you should totally brag about? 
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So I'm going the opposite route here: I run this weekly online auction on Facebook, and people pick up from my house when they have won something(s) from me. Usually, I send one of my girls out (my son is pretty much scared of people) because my pain level is too high, and today it was Sophia who went out. The woman, who was new to my auction group, was very impressed by my youngest, Sophia. The woman overpaid by a dollar and refused the change I sent Sophie out with before she left. It was declined, and then the above conversation ensued. I was beaming! And so yes, I totally bragged about it. ;)
5. What food have you never tasted and are most interested in trying? 
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Paella! Maybe not in as gigantical a paella pan as this one, but Seafood Paella is a Bucket List item for sure! And I think it may be happening in the near future. ;) Have you ever had it?

6. What history facts were you surprised to learn because it was never covered in school?
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First let me say this: As a former public school student who now homeschools my own kids, it sometimes rankles me that we hardly covered ANY of the world's give-or-take 200 countries in my Social Studies classes. I mean, I had to learn all the, what, 17 different republics or states or whatever that made up the former USSR, but I learned virtually nothing about Latin America until I went to college and took a semester-long course on recent Latin American History.
BUT, as a homeschooling parent who is now studying Brazil, preceded by Canada and to be succeeded by South America, I have also come to respect that class(room) time is extremely precious. Every wasted moment on scolding for behavior or other intrusions in the schedule is a moment taken from time for actual instruction. And with 30+ kids per class these days, there are bound to be tons more interruptions than we have with just three! So that rankling dissipates...
So to answer this question (FINALLY!), I will say that I had no idea how corrupt Brazil's government has been since the beginning, how many times its leadership has changed over after a political coup, or just how... difficult it has been to have peace for Brazilians.

7. What is something that you waited entirely too long to start or stop doing? What made you say "Why did I wait so long?"
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It just occurred to me, four-plus years into Rob's retirement from the U.S. Navy, that I could delegate some of the responsibilities of homeschooling to him! Well, to be fair, for 21/years of that he was downed by the brain tumor, but since then! We school year-round, and it just recently occurred to me that I could have him grade math papers! DUH! That takes a huge load off my plate, y'all! Sometimes I even have Chloe grade the papers of the younger two, but that's rarer. Such a relief to have that taken care of fairly effortlessly on my part now.

8. What socially expected thing do you hate doing the most? What thing about polite society really grinds your gears? 
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SMALL TALK!! I suck at it, I hate the inane exchange of pleasantries. If I can't have a real, meaningful conversation with someone, I'd just as soon not bother beyond the "hi, have a nice day, thank you, bye" stuff with, like, a cashier or someone. As for what grinds my gears, it's the social construct that dictates we must always be upbeat and positive with strangers. I'm sorry, I have Chronic, Late-Stage Lyme Disease, which is not a recognized illness by most of the medical society in this country, and I suffer every moment of every day. Lately, I've been amusing myself by answering, when asked how I am, "Do you want the truth or the socially acceptable version?" Maybe I'm a whiny, over-complaining brat, but IDGAF anymore. :\

9. What is something about your city that I should know if I'm going to visit? What is the hidden "must see" that you always tell friends and visitors to not miss?
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Well, you should know that's it's extremely dry here. When we got here from Miami, I could barely talk, my mouth was so dry all the time. And that still happens, even though I've acclimated to it! I've actually been diagnosed with Diabetes Insipidus because of the constant drinking I have to do. I don't know the greater Boise area well enough yet, having only been here for five months, but I would say the "must sees" are all the natural wonders here and around Idaho. OMG, it's SUCH a beautiful state. The mountains! The valleys! The lakes and rivers! The mountains. Just so gorgeous, everywhere you look.

10. What do you miss most about childhood?
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You may remember that my mother died when I was seven years old, and that life was hell after that, so not a whole helluva lot. However, before she died, we used to gather as a family, with grandparents and aunts and uncles and friends, around the organ while she played and sang. I remember her singing well, and my grandfather, who had a charming Baritone voice, belting out the Christmas carols with her. I loved those times. I also remember my sister Stacey and I arguing over whose turn it was to play that organ, on other days, and Mom setting a timer for five minutes for us to alternate on it.

11. What "fact" did you learn in school that is not true or no longer true?
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That people are born as a blank canvas and are generally warm, nice, kind, sweet, and loving. The first part may very well be true, but nurture causes so many to become exactly the opposite. Okay maybe this is a cop-out, because obviously I didn't learn this in school, but it's a heartbreaking adult discovery, that is for sure.

12. What's your favorite piece of useless trivia? 
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I don't think any trivia is 'useless' if it's interesting to someone - and it's almost all interesting to me!

13. What's your best go to homemade "lazy" meal?
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I used to make this for myself when I was a poor undergrad, and then graduate student: I call it "Cheesy Pasta Bake." I just mix a bunch of interestingly-shaped pastas together - whatever half-box or quarter-box here and there left over in the pantry - and cook that, then throw it back in the pot with different kinds of cheeses (at least three! It's a rule), a jar or so of sauce, mix it up, then bake it on 350o for about 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melted. The girls and I adore it. The menfolk, meh, not so much.

14. What's the title of this current chapter in your life?
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"Oh, Boise!" (And LOL! Our church is located in Garden City. It's really not so bad... now, maybe.)

15. What is a habit or practice that you learned from your childhood that you didn't realize was "weird" until you were an adult?
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I don't know. Nothing, probably. I'm a highly self-conscious introvert. I know i'm weird. I embrace it now, at 40 years old. Finally!
That was fun! Thanks, Bev. And thank you for stopping by.

Saturday 9: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Hey everyone, welcome back to Saturday 9! Link up here if you're playing along today!


Saturday 9: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
... because Joy recommended it

1) The Beatles recorded this after they had taken a three-month hiatus from working together as a band. Do you find you're sharp after taking time off? Or does it take you a while to get back into the swing of things in your day-to-day life?
It usually takes me a while to get back into the swing of things after taking time off. I'm still mentally wherever I just left off.

2) During those three months off, John Lennon made a movie called How I Won the War. What's the last movie you watched? Did you view it at a theater, on TV, or from a device like a computer or tablet?
I can't remember the last time I watched anything on our TV. Wait, yes I can. It was the beginning of March, and we still lived in Miami. Anyway... The last movie I "watched" was LEGO Batman last night in the big field at our church. I put that in quotes because I snoozed (and snored, hahaha) through about 3/4 of it. Nowadays, when I get tired, it means I have to lie down right NOW, and that happened at the party/movie last night. So embarrassing, but oh, well. I also just received a pre-release of the movie Unleashed on a disk in the mail to blog about, I guess. I suppose I'll watch that on the laptop tonight. And this was a long answer full of babbling. My bad...
3) Paul McCartney and George Harrison both used their time off to make new and different music. Paul composed instrumentals for a movie soundtrack while George studied sitar with Ravi Shankar. Ringo Starr spent those three months with his wife and their two little boys. If you had three months to spend doing anything you wanted, and money was no object, would you try something new (like Paul and George) or just kick back and relax (like Ringo)?
I would love to do a mixture of both (why can't I?), but if I absolutely must choose one, I would definitely love to learn something new. Anything! Preferably in a new and exotic location, like somewhere in Asia or Africa. Thailand or Ethiopia, perhaps. Learning an instrument or a new dance, or how to surf (yeah, right), or something. Anything. I love learning.

4) Paul recalls what fun it was to dress up in Edwardian-era costumes for the album cover. When did you last attend a costume party? What did you wear?
Image result for half angel half devil costume
I've been to exactly ONE costume party, and I went by myself because I couldn't talk Hubs into going with me (as I remember). That was back on Halloween 2012, somewhere around Norfolk or Virginia Beach, Virginia, before we moved to Miami. I dressed as a half-angel/half-devil, with white and one wing and half a halo, and then the other half red with a horn and I don't know, maybe a trident? I don't have a photo on this computer, but this lady wears it better anyway!
5) Paul says he came up with the name "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" when Beatle friend Mal Evans told him about this great San Francisco band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. Paul hadn't heard their music yet, but he loved the sound of their six-word band name. Soon everyone would hear of Big Brother. Do you know who Big Brother's famous lead singer was?
Nope, never heard of them, but I'm about to Google it! ;) Ahhh, Janis Joplin? Very interesting!

6) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band appeared on the Billboard charts for 175 weeks. Is this album in your collection?
WOW! I actually don't. It's from a bit before my time, and I have nothing of the Beatles in my e-collection. Perhaps I should add it?

7) The Beatles are among the top-selling artists of all time in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Would you like to visit Africa?
Heyyy, speaking of Ethiopia... Yes, I sure would!

8) 50 years ago, when Sgt. Pepper was first released, the average price for gas was 33¢/gallon. When did you last fill up your gas tank? Do you remember how much it cost?
I'm going to fill it up today, as soon as Hubs gets back from having his new glasses adjusted at Walmart. It's about $2.49 at the Flying J down the road, and it'll cost me about $35-40 to fill the nearly-empty tank.

9) Random question: Are most of your married friends happily married?
I would say about 2/3 are married, and among those, it's difficult to tell who is "happily" so from the outside, don't you think? I mean, in our 16.5 years of marriage, Hubs and I have gone through a lot of turmoil, both between the two of us and just from other things happening like losing our son, etc. From the outside, I honestly wonder what people think of us. From the inside, I can say without hesitation that we are happily married and are both still in love with each other. This is right now. Right now, in this instant. Ask me tomorrow, I don't know. Maybe I won't like his new glasses... Heh. I jest, I jest.
Thanks for stopping by, y'all. I'll be back tomorrow, barring my rampant forgetfulness from taking over Ye Olde Braine. Happy weekend to yas!


Saturday 9: Start Me Up

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Howdy, folks! (BTW Gal, et al.: I didn't mean to call y'all old when I said "fogies" a week or two ago! I was just trying to expand my weblogular lexicon. Didn't mean to insult anyone, sorry!)

This week, we're doing The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" for Saturday 9. Link up over here if you're joining us! 

Let's begin.


Saturday 9: Start Me Up (1981)
... because Kwizgiver recommended The Rolling Stones

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

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1) That's a goat wearing a high heel. What's on your feet as you answer these questions?
Gray hospital socks. I always keep the socks I get whenever I'm admitted to the hospital, because hey, free socks! Even though they have no heels and that's annoying, with my sensory issues it can be hard to find socks I can stand to wear. These, I can, so I have about 4-5 pairs right now. I hate not being barefoot, but I'm far too cold at the AC temps mi familia likes to use, so... socks.

2) More fashion: In the video for this song, Mick is wearing white pants with an elastic waistband. Are you wearing a belt as you answer these questions?
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Ha, no. I detest belts and will go years - decades, maybe - without wearing one. I'm wearing a flowy red dress with pockets right now. It's either from LuLaRoe or Honey & Lace; I forget.
3) In this song, Mick pleads, "Don't make a grown man cry." When is the last time you shed a tear?
Two nights ago. The full moon is always a time of peak pain levels for me. It happens to a lot of people with Lyme Disease and, I suppose, other related tick-borne parasite diseases. It has something to do with the Moon's gravitational pull affecting the reproduction time of the bacterium that causes Lyme, I've read. I was sobbing my poor heart out in pain. Hubs gave me enough meds to knock me out so I could sleep without misery. I hate these times doubly because, as a mother, you've no idea how hard it is to see the expressions of fear and concern on my children's faces. And it hurts that bad where I can't stop it and hold it all in. It's awful, frankly.

4) Keith Richard has said this is a song he could play "forever and ever." What in your life doesn't get old, no matter how often you do it?
Call me a homebody if you will, but no matter what hobby or habit I have that gets old and boring after a while, through the years I never get tired of just hanging out with my Hubs and our crew. Love these guys!

5) While The Rolling Stones enjoy performing songs, like this one, from Tattoo You, Mick Jagger has dismissed the songs from their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request as "rubbish." Do you have a favorite Rolling Stones song?
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I'm not a huge Stones fan, but I like Satisfaction among a few others.

6) This recording of "Start Me Up" features a cowbell. Do you remember which Saturday Night Live host made, "More cowbell!" a catchphrase?
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Ummm... no. I didn't know that was a catchphrase. Sorry!

7) Bassist Bill Wyman once said he thought he should have been a archivist because he loved to make lists. Do you have a to-do list? 
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Yeah. It's always a mile long, and lately I'm pretty good at ignoring it. :\

8) Mick finds it hard to stand still when he sings, not only on stage but also in the studio. The engineer for this song reports that Mick would have to run across the room to get back to the microphone for his vocal. Are you more fidgety, or still?
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I'm a constant fidgeter. I remember being, like, 8 or 9 years old and constantly fidgeting in church, and my Dad yelling at me in a hushed tone: "Be still, Mellie! Stop fidgeting!" I've never stopped, Dad. #SorryNotSorry

9) Random question: Do you believe men are inherently more sensible than women?
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No, absolutely not. Actually, I believe logic can be learned, and both men and women can learn it. My 15-year-old daughter "logics" (as I say) very well. She out-logics me sometimes, and I've studied it! So frustrating, y'all.
Welp, that's it for me this week. Hopfully I'll make it to Sunday Stealing this week; missed it last time.
Stay cool,

Chicken Portraits


So y'all remember we have chickens in the backyard, right? This was the day the chicken coop arrived, and Rob put it together with some help from the kids.


So to recap, here's the coop. There are ten birdy-birds in there. The one, Archimedes, whom Jack won in the Parma chicken run a couple months back:

That's her in the back, semi-center, looking down upon her court. And the crap trap. The shit sheet. Whatever you want to call the poop-catcher tray that um, I didn't think about when I took this picture. Well, so what? Everybody poops!


Here's a better view of Archimedes, top left, with less doody in the foreground. But seriously, folks, ten birds in one smaller-than-I-thought coop = loads of doodoo! That's one daily chore that is not a kid favorite, but it gets taken care of!

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So, I had this brilliant idea that we should take portraits of each chicken, since there are two for each of the five of us, and I can never remember who's who in there. This one is Sophia's Pharaoh. You can see she has fluffy legs, like many of them do. They came from some kind of show-chicken lady, and these happened to have been cross-bred between a Silky and I don't know what, to get these chicks she didn't deem necessary to keep. Or worthy. Whatever, I just hope they lay us some nice eggs!

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Here is Rob's Nugget, who we are pretty sure isn't going to be laying us any eggs anytime soon. Or... ever. Why? See that comb atop the head and waddle-thingy underneath? Pretty sure she is a he. So we'll have to find a new home for Nugget once we're absolutely positive, or send him/her out to be processed for eating. Only, I don't want to eat him/her. So I'm not sure how that is going to go down. I just know the Boise city ordinance says we can't keep roosters in city limits, and I'd rather comply with that than risk a fine!

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This is one of "my" chickens, little Minerva. She's a little ball of fluff and is one of two chickens that isn't growing as fast as the others. Maybe they're just destined to be small, or maybe they're not as aggressive at the feeder? I don't know.

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And here is Athena, "my" other chicken. She's also a ball of fluff (as many of them are), but she's one of the largest hens. I see her at the feeder often, so maybe her name should be Miss Piggy instead!

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Daisy is Jack's other chicken (Archimedes is his, too), and she's growing quite well. Less fluff on this one, but I like her mottled grey coloring.

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Igneel, one of Chloë's hens, is named after one of her favorite YouTube show's characters, but I forget which one. I'd ask her, but she's not up at the moment. Fairy Tail, maybe? Whatever, I can't remember. It's a weird little name, that's for sure, but then she was named by a weird little teenager! ;)

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A funny thing happened after I photographed Igneel, and she was being put away and the next chicky being fetched. Daisy got out - this happens occasionally - and led Rob and the girls on a wild goose chicken chase in and out of the trees, back and forth, all over our backyard. I was ordered to be hands-off with the chickens after a campylobacter diagnosis, so I couldn't do anything but watch. And, well, take pictures. Sophia dove for Daisy several times, but man, these chickens are fast! Hopefully we can clip some wings this weekend, so they're easier to catch and also so they can be freer to roam around back there.

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And then, in the midst of chasing Daisy around the yard, Rob discovered and announced that the tree with thought was persimmons is, rather, an apple tree. The girls stopped helping their dad and started doing the Dance of Joy, which I find hysterical. Remember the 80s show Perfect Strangers with Balky and Cousin Larry Appleton? I still do the Dance of Joy, when it's warranted, that Balky and Larry used to do on the show, and the girls got that from me! Ha. I guess they were pretty excited about apples. And yes, we did manage to get Daisy home shortly after these photos were taken.


Tater Tot is Sophia's other hen, or maybe this one will turn out to be a rooster, too, seeing that comb and waddle? Too soon for us to tell, but maybe some of you are chicken-sexing experts and can let us know what we've got going on here.


This crazy-looking bird is Rob's other chicken, Attila the Hen. She always looks a mess, since Day One. I think she's kinda pretty. No one else seems to hold that view!


And, finally, here is Chloë's second hen, Atlas, whose name comes from the same (Fairy Tail, I think) YouTube show as Igneel's. Atlas, like most of the chickens, calms right down when on her back and definitely prefers this position, so that's the only way I could get a decent shot of her.

Now. I hope you've got all these chickens and their names straight, because I still don't know who is whom - and they live in my backyard! ;)

Soon, hopefully, Rob will build a pen for them to run around in. Between that and lop-sidedly clipping their wings, I'm hoping we can keep them from running away and not being able to be caught, while giving them quite a lot more breathing room.

Happy weekend, y'all!


Sophia Arting Around #Homeschooling

I'm terribly sorry this place has been a ghost town, but I've been having a tremendous amount of Lyme-related pain and suffering lately. As a result, we haven't done half the things we've set out to do as a family, and when we're home, I have been knocked out a lot of the rest of the time. Sucks. So I'm wanting to play catch-up in between those manifold naps. Get ready for the barrage! ;)

Draw 3D

Moving on... Chloë and Sophia have been studying art through the artist Mark Kistler's Draw 3D lessons. They began with the freebie course, to see how it would go, and now the girls are working their ways through the course Undersea Adventure. Chloë isn't quite finished, but Sophia - whose favorite subject is Art - has completed hers. Thought I'd show you those works (some of which are admittedly better than others, due to her feeling rushed through some). Shall we, then? Let's:

Sophia's Dinos In Cheese

From the free course: "Dinos in Cheese," which Sophie made to look less like the sample and more like her own style. I like it, a lot actually, but it shows her resistance to being taught new tricks that she feels are unnecessary for her to learn! ;)

Sophia's Marshmallow Mobile

"Marshmallow Mobile," which cracks her up because he looks so scary to her. Silly.

Sophia's Moon Rover

From Space, we have "Moon Rover III" picking up space rubble.

Sophia's Clam

And now moving into the Undersea Adventure course, here is Sophie's vampiresque "Clam," which looks like it's dripping in, uh... marine blood?

Sophia's Dolphin

Here is her cute little "Dolphin."

Sophia's Hermit Crab

The "Hermit Crab" was maybe her least-favorite of this course, and she rushed through it. I think you can tell, especially in the shadowing.

Sophia's Pencil Power

Next up is "Pencil Power," and don't even ask me why there is a pencil in this series of lessons. I have no clue! My only thought is that maybe in the lesson there is a new skill set necessary to learn before moving on in the series. Not sure, though.

Sophia's Whale

The "Whale" was another lesson through which I felt Sophia rushed, but I'm not sure why. It's just okay, to me.

Sophia's Scuba Rex

These last two, "Scuba Rex" here and the next one, are among my favorites. I feel like Sophia enjoyed them, took her time to do the details the way she felt was correct, and they turned out well.

Sophia's Seahorses

And finally, we have Sophia's "Seahorse," to end the course for her. Overall, I think it shows progress and also that there is room for growth, but I think for a 12-year-old taking her first formal Art lessons, the work is pretty darned good!

More later. I need yet another nap.


Saturday 9: Wouldn't It Be Nice?

Image result for the beach boys

How ya doin', folks? I actually slept a couple (literally just a couple, tho) hours last night, so I'm feeling pretty pleasant right now. What better time than to work on Saturdya 9? Link up here if you want to play along this week!

Let's get started:


Saturday 9: Wouldn't It Be Nice? (1966)
... because Nonnie recommended the Beach Boys

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In the video for this song, the Beach Boys dive into the pool with all their clothes on. Have you ever ended up in the water while fully clothed? If yes, were you pushed?
I don't think I ever have, but one of my fun memories of my mom was when I was about 4 or 5, and my mom was all dressed up, hair done, makeup done, and heading out for work. My dad and our neighbor, Fred, were outside by the pool. Suddenly, Fred picked up my mom and threw her, glasses and all, into the pool! :O I don't know how I would have handled it, but my mother laughed hysterically. I loved that. Man, she was great.
2) In this song, Mike Love sings he wishes "every kiss could be never-ending." Where did you receive your first kiss? Was it wonderful, or awkward?
My first kiss, when I was 14, was at Tri-County Mall in Baldwinsville, NY. It was pretty great, and  it lasted a while. People were staring at us, and we didn't care. Not awkward a bit.
3) Brian Wilson was the creative force behind the Beach Boys. It's possible that the group's legendary and unique sound came from an incident of bad parenting. Brian's father hit him so hard with a wooden plank that he is deaf in his right ear. Which of your senses is sharpest -- sight, hearing, smell or taste?
I guess that would have to be taste, by default. My vision isn't great at all. I somewhat blame Lyme Disease, through anecdotal story upon story, for my recent loss of smell except for the most pungent ones (like Hubs' farts!) and deafness in my left ear. I'm going to the ENT soon to see if they can help me with that. But hey, I'm a good taster, and my recent gain in the scales reflects that! ;)

4) Brian's brother Dennis was the cutest member of the group, and also the only one who could surf. Have you been to the beach yet this summer?
Lucky Peak Beach 009
We have! We went to the reservoir with friends, which the epidemiologist now credits with as the source of my two-week bout with the campylobacter bacterium. NOT FUN AT ALL, but the reservoir was so fun and beautiful, I forgive it.

5) Dennis was also the Beach Boys' most colorful member. In 1968, he struck up an unfortunate and dangerous friendship with Charles Manson. Is there anyone in your life that you worry has bad taste in friends/lovers?
Yes, there is, but her business is her business. When and if I need to be there to help pick up the pieces or hold them together for a minute, I will be.

6) Lead singer Mike Love is the grumpiest Beach Boy. He refuses to perform if the concert promotional materials refer to the group or their songs as "oldies." Does it bother you to hear the songs, TV shows and movies of your youth described as "classics" or "oldies?" 
I wouldn't say "bother," per se, but it definitely strikes an interesting chord with me now that the 80s hair bands I listened to decades ago are now on the classic rock stations. I still can't believe I'm 40! I just can't.

7) This song has appeared on soundtracks for movies as diverse as Shampoo (1975), The Big Chill (1983),  50 First Dates (2004) and It's Complicated (2009). Do you own any movie soundtracks?
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Well, I have no CDs anymore, but I did have the ones for Waiting to Exhale (1995), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and Grease (1978). Maybe a couple of others, but they aren't coming to mind now.

8) In 1966, the year this song was popular, the Miranda Warning became law. Without looking it up, can you recite any of the Miranda Warning?
"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney..." Um, I don't know if that's right, but that's what I know from all those Law and Order episodes I've watched! ;)

9) Random question: The local college is pleading for models of all ages and sizes to pose for the life drawing class. Would you help the kids by volunteering to pose in the nude?
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Nope. Sorry, kids, but I'm not comfortable in my own skin by myself, let alone in front of a group of strangers focusing on my every defect - and there are many! This is an interesting question, Crazy Sam!
Thanks for visiting my blog! Now it's time to blog-hop and see what everyone else had to say. I mean to do this every week, but I am always easily distracted and tend to wander off doing 19 other things. Please forgive me?